TAMWORTH Regional Council has begun making preparations to keep the city's bores productive when the Peel River is cut off.
The Paradise Wells will act as the city's emergency water supply; however, they are deeply connected to the Peel and the underground aquifer beneath it.
The council will install a metre-tall sandbag weir and, while it might not sound like much, it will be capable of holding 30 megalitres.
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TRC water and waste manager Dan Coe said under the council's drought management strategy, there had always been a plan to install the sandbag weir.
"The main purpose of that is to hold water in the pool between the bridge and wells, which are about 200 metres down from the bridge," Mr Coe said.
"We know at least a couple of the wells are highly dependent on that pool of water. Those six wells will be our emergency supply and can produce up to 10 megalitres a day.
"We're trying to sustain that aquifer as best we can and make the most of any small inflows we have."
The council's modelling indicates that, even with the weir, the production of the bores could drop to just three megalitres a day within 12 months without the river recharging the aquifer.
"However, our research shows it's a shallow gravel aquifer that will recharge really quickly from any storm events," Mr Coe said.
"Any stormwater going through Goonoo Goonoo Creek and any inflows in to the Peel River should recharge it.
"The other benefit of that sandbag weir is that it's below the Cockburn River, so it should get inflows from that as well in a storm."
At the moment the, water licence restrictions limit how much water council can take from the bores, however TRC is investigating if the state government is open to extending its licence.
Mr Coe said the bores supplement a small amount of the city's drinking water, but their main purpose was to act as an emergency supply.
"For instance, if we're doing maintenance on the Dungowan pipeline, they'll be our back-up supply," he said.
"We're trying to do everything we can in a short period of time to have multiple water source options - not only to increase the amount of water available, but to allow flexibility in our operations."
The 10-megalitre dam at the Calala water treatment plant is one of those water source options.
Earthworks are underway and it's expected to be completed by mid-December.
The sandbag weir has not yet been finished to allow water orders from high-security licence holders to get past.
The Dungowan weir is expect to be finished by the end of November, with the river's flow to be cut on the first or second day of December.
Large water releases from Chaffey Dam are expected to continue next week, as high-security water users try to make the most of their allocation before the Peel River is cut off,
About to 60 megalitres - about four times Tamworth's daily use - is being released a day.
Construction will soon get underway on the $38-million permanent pipeline from Chaffey Dam to Tamworth, which is due to be completed by late-February next year.